The Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa says the pre-tertiary teacher unions intended strike is baseless because members do not work for long hours.
There teacher unions, namely the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) in a joint statement expressed their
unhappiness over the employer’s inability to address concerns about inadequate teaching and learning resources, contact and working hours as well as upgrading of teachers.
The unions in their August 10 statement gave the government a September deadline to address their listed concerns else they will advise themselves.
At a press briefing in Accra, on Thursday, August 26, 2021, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa responded to the concerns raised by the teacher unions.
“During the press conference by the teacher unions, they said they are doing more than they should be doing but let me indicate that, they are not doing more than they should be doing. If for any reason they are doing more than that, I want to assure you that at the time that we were drawing the calendar when COVID-19 broke out, we had extensive discussions with stakeholders, and they were key stakeholders in those discussions, and we agreed on the modalities and contact hours, so they can’t be doing more,” he said.
Concerns of teacher unions
The three pre-tertiary education teacher unions enumerated issues they feel
are unfavourable situations and hampering academic activities in schools across the country.
The issues include teaching and learning resources, contact and working hours, upgrading of teachers, and issues regarding promotions.
The groups also raised concerns about allowances, transfers, the signing of performance contracts, and the refusal to appoint teachers in offices as heads and assistant heads of schools.
In the joint statement, the teacher unions indicated that if by the end of September 2021, the employer had failed to address their concerns, they will embark on a nationwide strike.
“We, the teacher unions are hereby serving notice that if by the close of September 2021, all these issues are not resolved in full by the employer, then we will have no option than to advise ourselves in the best interest of our members within the framework of our collective agreement and the applicable laws of Ghana.”
On the signing of the performance contract, in particular, the groups argued that “this is unacceptable because the unions do not know the details and the implications of the contract. We call on the management of the GES to suspend the signing of the performance contracts until it has been discussed with the unions”.